Top 10 Tips for Raising Well-Behaved Kids

Top 10 Tips for Raising Well-Behaved Kids

Are you looking for ways to improve your children's behavior at home and in the community? Here's a secret: parents of well-behaved kids tend to follow these key principles:

 

SPEND TIME TOGETHER

Children crave attention! Take time each day to play or spend time with your child one-on-one. Even 5 minutes a day will make a difference! If they don’t get positive attention from you, they will resort to doing whatever it takes to get your attention, which leads to misbehavior. Put away all electronic devices during this time. Your special time together should be spent playing, reading, or doing a project.

 

PRAISE

Catch your child being good often and immediately give praise. Use specific praise rather than general terms. Instead of “Good job” say “You put the blocks in the box like I asked – thanks!”, or “You walked down that hallway and kept your hands to yourself – nice job!” Set a goal that for every negative statement you make, you should provide at least 3 positive statements to your child.

 

FOLLOW ROUTINES

Establish routines to add structure. For example, the bedtime routine begins at 7pm with a bath, then brushing teeth, then reading a book before bed. Be sure to let your child know in advance if the routine will be disrupted. It's also helpful if you provide a visual list of the steps of the routine – this can reduce the need for prompting each step of the way. 

 

OFFER CHOICES

Give your child control over little things whenever possible. You can do this by giving your child many opportunities to make a choice throughout the day. Limit it to two choices, both of which are acceptable to you. For example, “Would you like to wear the red shirt or the blue one?”

 

ENCOURAGE INDEPENDENCE

Give age-appropriate chores to build a sense of responsibility. Stop doing things for your kids that they can do for themselves! Have your kids help out with simple jobs when you're in public too, such as helping with the grocery list, holding items for you at the store, etc. 

 

COMMUNICATE BETTER

Do not ask your child to do something if it is not a choice. Do not ask, “Are you ready to eat now?” Instead, say “It’s dinnertime now.” Try to interact with your child using more comments than questions. Always state what you want your child to do instead of what not to doFor example, instead of “Don’t run!” say “Walk please!”

 

BE CLEAR AND CONCISE

Directions should be simple and direct with one step provided at a time. This avoids overwhelming your child with too many words in a lengthy discussion or lecture.

 

BE CONSISTENT

Enforce behavior expectations consistently. If you make a rule, enforce it every time. Make sure parents are on the same page with expectations and limit setting to reinforce consistency. 

 

AVOID USING THREATS

Do not make empty threats. These are threats your child knows you will not enforce. If you have to use threats, stick to consequences you will follow through on. If you threaten to leave the store if your child misbehaves, be prepared to leave the store immediately.

 

BE A GOOD MODEL

Your child learns how to handle difficult situations by watching you. Model good strategies for handling frustration, anger, etc. Always treat your child with respect.

 

Need more support? Contact us today to learn more about how to improve your child's behavior!